Door County, Wisconsin

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Our most recent nationally representative survey finds that More than half of Americans (58%) believe climate change is mostly human caused. That’s the highest level measured since our surveys began in 2008. By contrast, only 30% say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment, matching the lowest level measured in our November 2016 survey.

Four in ten Americans (39%) think the odds that global warming will cause humans to become extinct are 50% or higher. Most Americans (58%) think the odds of human extinction from global warming are less than 50%.

One in four Americans (24%) say providing a better life for our children and grandchildren is the most important reason, for them, to reduce global warming. More than one in ten Americans said preventing the destruction of most life on the planet (16%) or protecting God’s creation (13%) was the most important reason.

This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org), Interview dates: May 18 – June 6, 2017. Interviews: 1,266 Adults (18+). Average margin of error +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Key Findings

  • Seven in ten Americans (70%) think global warming is happening, which nearly matches the highest level in our surveys (71%), recorded in 2008. By contrast, only about one in eight Americans (13%) think global warming is not happening.
  • Americans are also more certain global warming is happening – 46% are “extremely” or “very” sure it is happening, its highest level since 2008. By contrast, far fewer – 7% – are “extremely” or “very sure” global warming is not happening.
  • Over half of Americans (58%) understand that global warming is mostly human caused, the highest level since our surveys began in November 2008. By contrast, three in ten (30%) say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment – the lowest level recorded since 2008.
  • Only about one in eight Americans (13%) understand that nearly all climate scientists (more than 90%) are convinced that human-caused global warming is happening.
  • Over half of Americans (57%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. About one in six (17%) are “very worried” about it.
  • Six in ten Americans (59%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and half think weather is being affected “a lot” (25%) or “some” (27%).
  • About one in three Americans (35%) think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming “right now.”
  • Most Americans think global warming is a relatively distant threat – they are most likely to think that it will harm future generations of people (71%), plant and animal species (71%), the Earth (70%), people in developing countries (62%), or the world’s poor (62%). They are less likely to think it will harm people in the U.S. (58%), their own grandchildren (56%) or children (50%), people in their community (48%), their family (47%), themselves (43%), or members of their extended family living outside the U.S. (41%).
  • Four in ten Americans (39%) think the odds that global warming will cause humans to become extinct are 50% or higher. Most Americans (58%) think the odds of human extinction from global warming are less than 50%.
  • Four in ten Americans (40%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, six in ten (60%) say they have not.
  • Only one in three Americans (33%) discuss global warming with family and friends “often” or “occasionally,” while most say they “rarely” or “never” discuss it (67%). Additionally, fewer than half of Americans (43%) hear about global warming in the media at least once a month, and only one in five (19%) hear people they know talk about global warming at least once a month.
  • Six in ten Americans (63%) say the issue of global warming is either “extremely” (10%), “very” (16%), or “somewhat” (38%) important to them personally. Four in ten (37%) say it is either “not too” (22%) or “not at all” (15%) important personally.
  • Half of Americans say they have thought “a lot” (18%) or “some” (31%) about global warming. The other half say they have thought about global warming just “a little” (33%) or “not at all” (17%).
  • By a large margin, Americans say that schools should teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming (78% agree vs. 21% who disagree).
  • Four in ten Americans (42%) say their family and friends make at least “a moderate amount of effort” to reduce global warming. A similar number (45%) say it is at least “moderately important” to their family and friends that they take action to reduce global warming.
  • The most common reason why Americans want to reduce global warming is to provide a better life for our children and grandchildren – a reason selected by one in four Americans (24%). The next most common reasons are preventing the destruction of most life on the planet (16%) and protecting God’s creation (13%).
  • Few Americans are optimistic that humans will reduce global warming. Nearly half (48%) say humans could reduce global warming, but it’s unclear at this point whether we will do what is necessary, and nearly one in four (24%) say we won’t because people are unwilling to change their behavior. Only 7% say humans can and will successfully reduce global warming.

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Door County last week signed on as a participant in a program to provide low-interest, long-term loans to businesses on the peninsula looking for dollars to improve energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy and water conservation improvements.

The PACE program – an acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy – provides the mechanism for businesses to borrow money from local lenders for installing energy-efficient lighting, heating and other projects, using the savings generated to repay the loan.

PACE provides coordination among businesses, government, lenders and contractors, according to Jon Hochkammer, outreach manager for the Wisconsin Counties Association, addressing the Door County Board last week Tuesday. Hochkammer was Manitowoc County Board Chairman for eight years and is currently the mayor of Verona.

“Not only does it (PACE) do economic development, but it promotes sustainability,” Hochkammer said. “More and more counties and villages and cities are getting involved in sustainability issues.”

In addition, he said, “There are no federal, state, or local dollars involved in the program. It’s a voluntary program between the property owner and a lender.

“I have not found a downside,” Hochkammer said.

Jason Stringer, senior manager of Clean Energy Finance with the nonprofit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, said 44 states have similar programs. However, he said, Wisconsin doesn’t provide funding for residential energy saving efforts that some other states do.

The PACE Program is a “financing tool,” Stringer said. Door County would not have any costs in adopting the program.

The only reason the county board had to adopt a resolution and ordinance to participate in PACE, Stringer said, was because, “financing is secured by a special charge, which is a form of tax assessment.”

The County Board’s Finance Committee recommended adopting the program after reviewing it beginning in April. The vote at the June 27 County Board meeting was unanimous for joining PACE.

Door is the 20th Wisconsin county to join the program. Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Ozaukee and Racine are other counties on the Lake Michigan shore in the program. Dane, Marathon, La Crosse and the counties along Lake Superior – Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland — are some of the other PACE counties.

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Dane County will stick to the terms of the Paris climate agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s pulling the United States out of the accord earlier this month, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Monday.

 

The county has already met the country’s previously agreed to goal of reducing 2005 carbon emission levels by 26 to 28 percent. Parisi said the county will continue to try to reduce carbon emissions, increase the use of solar and renewable energy and prepare for the impact of a changing climate.

 

“We can show other units of government and leaders in the private sector that we can make a positive impact on the government and at the same time saving dollars and improving the environment,” he said.

A recently created Office of Energy and Climate Change will work with a county climate council to identify ways for the county to meet, or exceed, goals of the Paris climate agreement, he said.

 

The announcement comes after Trump said this month that he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement that sought to limit the impact of climate change and minimize global temperature increases.

 

Trump said the deal was unfair to the U.S. and would result in lost jobs, lower wages and closed factories.

But as of May more than 1,200 U.S. cities, counties, states, universities and businesses like Apple and Nike in the “We Are Still In” coalition have vowed to adhere to the provisions of the climate pact, saying that sticking to the terms of the agreement would create jobs and promote trade while reducing carbon emissions.

 

The agreement has been signed by 149 countries.

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, UW-Stevens Point and the cities of Milwaukee and Glendale have agreed to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord.

 

The Dane County Board will review a resolution affirming its support of the county’s move in the coming weeks.

 

Dane County will send a letter to the Wisconsin Counties Association this week to encourage other counties in the state to join the coalition or agree to meet goals of the Paris agreement.

 

With the state and federal government “putting their heads in the sand with climate change, it’s up to us at the local level to fight climate change and lead by example,” Parisi said.

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Full Belly Farm in Guinda signed it. Earth Equals Farm in San Diego signed it. Nye Ranch in Fort Bragg signed it, too.

Last week, the Community Alliance With Family Farmers (CAFF) and the Farmers Guild, its network of local farming groups, posted the California Farmers Climate Pledge in response to President Trump’s June 1 announcement that he was pulling the country out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 80 farmers and ranchers, to date, have signed on to the pledge in order to support “the science, commitment and goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.”

“We vow to continually improve our own on-farm practices to conserve energy and sequester carbon,” the farmers’ pledge reads in part. “But we also believe in the dire importance of a collective, worldwide commitment by all nations — including our own — to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target stated in the Paris Climate Agreement, all while building a cleaner, 21st century economy.

Immediately after the president’s Paris Agreement announcement, governors of 12 states and Puerto Rico committed to honoring the Paris Agreement even if the federal government would not. Mayors of hundreds of U.S. cities, big and small, signed on. Numerous universities and major corporations have since added their names to a “We Are Still In” pledge (posted at www.wearestillin.com).

Evan Wiig, communications and membership director for CAFF, said several farmers who were inspired by the governors and mayors told the Davis organization they would like to do something similar. It took several weeks for the group to draft language and circulate it.

Rich Collins, of Collins Farm in Solano County near Dixon, said that he signed the pledge out of a sense of embarrassment.

“(The Paris Agreement) is so foundational and fundamental. Soil and agriculture — when I say agriculture I don’t just mean row crops but rangeland — can play a big role in mitigating climate change,” Collins said. “It’s only going to be to the benefit of agriculture. Soils with more carbon in them perform better, they have more water capacity and diverse soil life, and can produce more disease-resistant crops. It’s such a profound win-win-win.”

Wiig said the signatories represent a wide spectrum of ranches, orchards and vegetable farms. The majority of the signers are currently located in Northern California, but the counties they represent were tinted both red and blue on 2016 election maps.

“A lot of the farmers we work with are concerned with this conception that farmers are more conservative,” Wiig said. “There are a lot of agriculture organizations that attempt to speak for farmers who deny climate change or avoid the regulations and efforts to combat climate change. In our experience, that’s not representative of all farmers.”

The pledge invites additional California farmers and ranchers to sign on. Wiig said that the goal is to show voters and legislators that farmers are ready to take action to combat climate change, and that funds shouldn’t just go to clean energy, but also to the agricultural sector. “We’re not talking just about reducing carbon emissions,” Wiig said, “but reversing that cycle and taking that carbon in the atmosphere and putting it back in the ground.”

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Original Source

Why are we so deadlocked on climate, and what would it take to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress? Policy entrepreneur Ted Halstead proposes a transformative solution based on the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. Learn more about how this carbon dividends plan could trigger an international domino effect towards a more popular, cost-effective and equitable climate solution.

Original source

From the Ashes flyer JPEG

 

  • The article appeared in Rodney and Otamatea Times more than 100 years ago 
  • The unknown author says the burning of coal is creating a ‘blanket’ for the Earth 
  • The ‘greenhouse’ effect was officially first discovered in 1824 by Joseph Fourier

A tiny clipping from a New Zealand newspaper more than 100 years ago predicts the effects of global warming ‘may be considerable in a few centuries’.

The author links the burning of coal and warming of the atmosphere – describing it as a ‘blanket’ for the Earth.

The snippet is only ten lines long and was probably just a ‘filler’ for a newspaper – but it suggests people understood the effects of burning coal earlier than thought.

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The four-sentence article (pictured) was sandwiched between an article on a skipping machine and another about a Russian tunnel that would connect the Black and Caspian Sea

The four-sentence article (pictured) was sandwiched between an article on a skipping machine and another about a Russian tunnel that would connect the Black and Caspian Seas

THE 1912 CLIPPING 

The author links the burning of coal and warming of the atmosphere – describing it as a ‘blanket’ for the Earth.

The snippet was is only ten lines long and was probably just a ‘filler’ for a newspaper.

The ‘greenhouse’ effect was officially first discovered in 1824 by a French mathematician and physicist, Joseph Fourier.

He calculated that if take into account the size of the sun and Earth and the distance between them then the earth should be far cooler than it actually is.

The finding suggests people knew about global warming and the impacts of burning coal earlier than originally thought.

The clipping from 14 August 1912 was published in the Rodney and Otamatea Times and found online at the National Library of New Zealand.

The four-sentence article was sandwiched between an article on a skipping machine and another about a proposed Russian tunnel that would connect the Black and Caspian Sea.

The piece had also appeared in Australian newspapers – on 10 July 1912 in the Shoalhaven Telegraph and then in the Brainwood Dispatch on 17 July of the same year.

‘The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year’, the unknown journalist wrote.

‘When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly’.

‘This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the Earth and to raise its temperature’, he said.

The article finished with the prophetic line; ‘The effect may be considerable in a few centuries’.

The finding suggests people knew about global warming and the impacts of burning coal earlier than originally thought.

And its predictions appear to be coming true.

Today, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere are at their highest for at least the last 800,000 years.

Fourteen of the sixteen warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, with 2015 confirmed as the warmest year globally on record.

‘Such a run of high temperatures is extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change,’ it says.

The author links the burning of coal and warming of the atmosphere - describing it as a 'blanket' for the Earth (stock image) 

The author links the burning of coal and warming of the atmosphere – describing it as a ‘blanket’ for the Earth

The ‘greenhouse’ effect was officially first discovered in 1824 by a French mathematician and physicist, Joseph Fourier.

He calculated that if take into account the size of the sun and Earth and the distance between them then the earth should be far cooler than it actually is.

This lead him to believe there was some sort of blanket mechanism which was keeping the Earth warm.

That figure is now known to be around 33°C colder than it would be otherwise.

In 1859 John Tyndall, an Irish physicist, shows the greenhouse effect is created by the accumulation of gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapour.

‘We’ve known about CO2 and warming for about as long as we’ve known about evolution, or continental drift, or the age of the Earth,’ said Dr Cameron Muir at the Research centre for the National Museum of Australia in Canberra told Stuff.co.nz.

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